All-Around Seventh Heaven
Trevor Brazile Ties Ty Murray's Record for All-Around Titles
After Trevor Brazile clinched his seventh world all-around title, the PRCA arranged a photo shoot on the floor of the Thomas and Mack Center for him with his now-equal Ty Murray. Murray and his wife, Jewel, were with PRCA officials when Trevor walked in the arena, carrying his head rope.
Here they were, the two most decorated rodeo cowboys in the history of the sport. One, an icon of the roughstock end and one the best timed-event hand ever. Bystanders could only dream about what they'd say to one another. Strategies for success? How to live life as a rodeo legend? The direction of the sport?
Immediately the two fell into a conversation about ropes. Murray grabbed Brazile's rope from his hand and they started talking about feel and how ropes have changed over the years. Two cowboys having the same kind of exchange cowboys everywhere have. The only difference was these were the two best cowboys in the history of rodeo.
"When I won three world titles, they'd be asking me about Ty's world title and it seemed so far away," Brazile said. "It had taken my whole life and all my resources and everything I had done up to that point to get three, so doubling it and then some felt like something I didn't want to think about. That's why I was always the guy that said I was just taking it one year at a time. I'm just so blessed that this year, one year at a time puts me at number seven. It seemed like a goal that was so far away for so long."
Technically, he secured the title after the ninth round of the 2009 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and ended the season with $346,779 in earnings. But what proved that he was a transcendent all-around champion was his performance in the 10th round of the tie-down roping.
He drew a calf that had a record as a runner and then he would not stand in the chute. With a second tie-down roping title on the line and the all-around in the bank, he could have approached his final calf indifferently; either taken a chance and known that he went down swinging or saftied up. But in Brazile's mind, neither was an option. He was going to rope and tie that calf fast.
During the photo shoot with Murray, the duo took some photos at the timed-event end. There, the conversation turned from cowboy small talk to a conversation only those two men could ever have. They talked in hushed tones-almost not wanting the bystanders to learn the secrets to their success. Murray said he didn't care what they ran under him on the roughstock end, he wanted to ride it. Brazile nodded.
"I wanted it on my shoulders," he told the media later in reference to that last calf. "I didn't want a calf to stumble and break a barrier. I saw a safe start, but I'm a roper. If I had to take a chance on throwing a half a coil or take a chance at the barrier, I'm going to go with the roping, because that's what got me here. When you're here Saturday, you just want a chance. I had a chance and I wanted to get it done and that's all you can ask for."
In those seconds after he tied a 9-second calf in 8.8, he put another brick in the wall of his ever-growing legacy. (As an aside, Brazile and team roping partner Patrick Smith struggled at the NFR, only earning $2,764. Brazile made $55,427 in tie-down roping.)
"You would think I would have arrived now that I've tied Ty Murray's record, but he's as much my hero today as he was before they called my seventh world title. He's the best cowboy that ever set foot on dirt as far as I'm concerned. He's the reason I worked so hard for so long. I'm afraid to think anything other than he's up here and I'm down here. I want to keep working as hard as I can the whole time because of the example he set."
Now, Brazile will head home and enjoy number seven-for a while. It won't be long until he's evaluating his horses, improving his physical regimen and preparing for number eight.
"The world championships are nice, the whole thing when I started out-if you say a legacy-I just wanted to be known as a well-rounded cowboy," he said. "One of these days when I'm walking around and I'm not competitive and I'm on to other things and enjoying my children and stuff, I can be one of those guys that they say was a good cowboy. That I've learned more than just one event, learned about the sport, about horses and how to be a cowboy. That's all any of us ever wanted to be."